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Nick Ede

Nick Ede

Profession PR guru and TV presenter
Hometown London
Website http://www.edencancan.com/

Named one of the country’s top 100 influencers in events and PR, Nick not only runs his own successful agency, but can also be seen in various TV presenting roles.

 

You've been called the Simon Cowell of Style. Do you take that as a compliment?

Yes I do in many ways – I am a huge fan of Simon Cowell, his work and how he has become such an influential man in music as well as the media landscape. And his fame has come at a relatively old age!! I respect his honesty when it comes to music and I feel the same way about style – I have a very commercial mind and understand my mass market niche similarly to how he does his music.

How did a boy from Scotland become the toast of the town in London?

Ha ha well, I’m not toast yet! Seriously from a very young age I was in love with London - I used to dream about Piccadilly Circus! When I was 15 I ran away and came to London only to realise I was on my own in quite a scary place – I went to see Blood Brothers and then felt so depressed that I called my parents and told them I was on my way home. That didn’t stop me though, and when I graduated from University I decided to come to London to be an actor – that failed so I went to work for Apollo Leisure, then set up the entertainment department for lastminute.com, before getting a job on TV and setting up my own agency!

How big of an issue would you say sexual orientation is in the London workplace today?

I don’t think the sexuality problem is about ability; it stems from being type cast in the work place, be it in a work environment or on the TV. People expect gay people to be camp and a girl’s best friend, but there is far more to us than that. I have come across some prejudice in the workplace and for a long time didn’t admit my sexuality! Luckily I get employed on account of my talent and not my looks. I think if you’re a heartthrob and you’re gay, then there are huge issues, but nowadays people like Alan Carr, Paul O’Grady, Graham Norton and John Barrowman are media personalities who aren’t seen as gay but as talented, funny human beings which is great! I think that my skills have worked for me and would prove that no one cares about my sexual orientation!

You've worked on style shows both in America and in the UK. What would you say are the biggest differences in their approach to style?

I think that the Americans - when they do it well - do it very well! But there is a lot of bad fashion out there and generally I don’t think they dress as well as those in the UK. However they do look more polished when they go out. I think UK style is far more cutting edge and daring. We also have a strong heritage and history which the US just doesn’t have – our style back catalogue is perfect for referencing.

Are there differences in approaches to PR in the UK and the US?

In the UK the amount of publications there are for the size of the population is ridiculous – how many mags can one small island have!! We have such a huge media landscape that PR resonance for brands is great, and placing interesting stories and creating stunts with a buzz are far more effective here as the traction and relation to sales/ interest etc can be measured very well. In the states the PR process is far more regimented and there are less publications per population so it's harder to get your product/ story out there, etc. I think here we have far more flexibility which is great.

Where do you find the most stylish boys in London?

Oh that’s a hard one – I think that the most stylish boys hang out at Shoreditch House for sure – they are all so beautiful. Other places are galleries - I always see hot boys at the Tate Modern and Royal Academy. Looking good is so important in any industry and London has got some great salons; I love Urban Wellbeing in Soho for beauty treatments especially before a big event or night.

Best London look that would travel well abroad?

From top to toe I’d suggest a crisp shirt from Richard James, a bright jumper from Uniqlo, jeans from ‘For All Mankind’, shoes from PUMA, a suit jacket from Ted Baker and some underwear from Bboy!  It’s part dandy, part public school and part Brit cool!

Worst London look this season?

Jeggings! Oversized cardigans and ill fitting jackets!

As a gay man, what is the best part about living in London? The worst?

The best part is that people can be themselves, there is so much to do, lots of places to socialise and lots of people to meet. The worst part is that its cliquey and people can be quite rude and dismissive of you! I get that a lot!!

How has gay London changed over the past five years? How do you see it changing over the next five?

I think that there has been a real influx of younger people feeling more open about their sexuality; I also feel that with places like Hoxton and key influencers like Henry Conway and Jodie Harsh it’s made the gay experience more trendy and less scary for a lot of people. I’d hope that this would continue in the next five years and that more and more people accept the gay community – we are VERY lucky here! Certainly compared to smaller towns and cities.

Does the city play into what you do professionally?

Yes this is the only city where I think you can do what I do! Running a successful business and also having a media persona is only possible due to the multitude of opportunities that London has given me. However, it’s a hard place to live and not for everyone – it’s a lonely and ruthless place at times and you constantly have to watch your back. And the travel can get you down!

Would you ever consider living anywhere else?

I think that I’d like to live in LA for a while as the weather, people and work opportunities are out there and I genuinely  like Americans, and their optimism is very refreshing!

What would you say is the most overrated aspect of London?

I think our hospitality is overrated as I think compared to many other places we really are quite cold in our approach to foreigners and visitors!

Underrated?

Underated has to be our open spaces and markets; there are some fabulous places that people just don’t realise are there – when we say Hackney to someone they look down on you – when you go there you have some fantastic places like Broadway Market, the lido and the Hackney Empire which all have amazing histories and really are not far away!

The ONE thing that a visitor must do?

I’d suggest visitors go down to Columbia Road flower market, the streets and shops are beautiful, the flowersellers are real Londoners, and you might even see me down there as I go every week!

What three things are always in your carry-on when you travel?

My travelwrap – which is basically an adult comfort blanket (www.thetravelwrapcompany.com), my iPod loaded with the best music, my Mulberry white leather holdall – never goes out of fashion!

What does the future hold for you? Any un-ticked boxes on your to-do list?

I’m working on a new collection of jewellery for my range www.hihosilver.co.uk, a new TV show and some work in the US which is very exciting. Id like to start a lifestyle product range and I’d also like to open a pub and a fish & chip restaurant -  Oh, and have a boyfriend; that would make me happier than anything!

Learn more about Nick and his work on EdenCanCan's website.